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Full text of "The Letters Of Horace Walpole Vol I"

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100                     To Horace Mann                   [1741
never ceased since. At Boulogne I left Lord Shrewsbury2 and his mother3, and brothers and sisters, waiting too : Bulstrode4 passes his winter at the court of Boulogne, and then is to travel with two young Shrewsburys. I was overtaken by Amorevoli and Monticelli5, who are here with me and the Viscontina6, and Barberina \ and Abbate Vanneschi8
persons have often found in a series of private and familiar Letters, he thought it worth his while to preserve these, as they contain something of the customs, fashions, politics, diversions, and private history of several years ; which, if worthy of any existence, can be properly transmitted to posterity only in this manner.
The reader will find a few pieces of intelligence which did not prove true; hut which are retained here as the Author heard and related them, lest correction should spoil the simple air of the narrative. When the Letters were written, they were never intended for public inspection ; and now they are far from being thought correct, or more authentic than the general turn of epistolary correspondence admits. The Author would sooner have burnt them, than have taken the trouble to correct such, errant trifles, which are here presented to the reader, with scarce any variation or omissions, but what private friendships and private history, or the great haste with which the letters were written, made indispensably necessary, as will plainly appear, not only by the unavoidable chasms, where the originals were worn out or torn away, but by many idle relations and injudicious remarks and prejudices of a young man ; for which the only excuse the Author can pretend to make, is, that as some future reader may possibly be as young as h,e was when he first wrote, he hopes they may be amused with what graver people (if into such hands they should fall) will very justly Whoever has patience to
peruse the series, will find, perhaps, that as the Author grew older some of his faults grow less striking.'
a Charles Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, d. 1787. Walpole. — George (not Charles) Talbot (1719-1787), fourteenth Earl of Shrewsbury. Hia assumption of the title (to which lie did not in fact succeed until 1748) was probably due to the refusal of it by his uncle and predecessor, who was a Jesuit priest.
3 Mary, daughter of Thomas Pitz-william, fourth. Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion; m. Hon. Q-eorge Talbot, who ' (owing to tho non-assumption thereof by his eldest brother) did pretend to the title, and his widow is so silly as to protend to it, and suffers her three daughters to bo called Ladies, and puts the Earl's coronet over glasses, and upon plate, but durst not put it on the achievement nor coach, tho' in writings she signs Mary Talbot. Mr. George Talbot left six sons and three daughters; the eldest son, George, is at Paris for his education, 1785.' (Harley's Memoranda on tlie Peerage quoted in the Complete Peerage.)
* Tutor to the young Earl of Shrewsbury. Walpole.
5 Italian singers. Walpole.—An-gelo Maria Monticelli (1715-1764).
0 A singer.
7  ' A    celebrated    opera-dancer, known   and    admired   throughout Europe, of decent manners and uncommon attractions.'   (Lady Louisa Stuart,   Memoir  of John  Duke   of Argyll, p. 61.)
8  An  Italian abb6 who directed and wrote the operas under the protection of Lord Middlesex.    Walpole.